Yami Bolo, called “the freshest Roots and Culture artiste springing out of the pack in Jamaica today” has torn up crowds as far away as Canada, Japan, Europe and the United States and is not stopping.
Yami Bolo’s magical voice speaks directly to the heart, his singing style has been passionately compared to “a cry out in the wilderness” inspiring strength, joy and hope. Born Rolando Ephraim McLean on October 1, 1970, raised in Kingston 13, Bolo became exposed to music at an early age through the church, which his grandmother always insisted that he attend. His early attraction to music was further encouraged by his grand mother’s gift of an accordion and a trombone.
Bolo’s first professional training in the music industry occurred while he was a member of Sugar Minott’s Youth Promotion Crew of the 1980’s, which was instrumental in the careers of such great singers as Garnett Silk and Tenor Saw, among others. Yami Bolo’s first major stage show was at the St. Andrew Technical High School, where at the tender age of 13, he performed his emotional hit single “When A Man’s in Love” still a favorite in the dance clubs today, and from which KRS-1 sampled his hit “Take It Easy.”
Since that time, Bolo’s musical career has led him on a series of regal adventures. He has worked with top producers including Augustus Pablo, Coxson Dodd, Lee Perry, Winston Riley, Clive Hunt, Sly and Robbie, among others.
In 1987, at the age of 17, he was invited on tour with Augustus Pablo’s prestigious Rockers crew and in 1994 created an indelible impression on the Japan Splash tour leading to a unique collaboration between established Japanese superstar, Kazafumi Miyazawa (Miya).The “Miya-Yami Project” garnered the “Best Music Video ’94” title in Japan making Bolo the proud recipient of Sony’s Silver Grand Prix Award and their album “Love Is Dangerous” became one of the best selling reggae albums in Japan with sales topping in excess of 500,000 copies. The single “Brothers Unite” was voted Best Reggae Single 1994.
Bolo remains true to the spirit of reggae when, in speaking of his work, he states “the singer is but the instrument. It’s the Almighty at work.” Bolo’s commitment to conscious lyrics is evident throughout his music, he is determined to spread the love and happiness of his spiritual strength through exploring his multiple roles as singer, songwriter and musician.
This is exemplified on Yami Bolo’s over nineteen albums. Yami Bolo recently appeared in the movie “Life and Debt” and his single “Worldwide Corruption” is featured on the soundtrack released by Tuff Gong/Universal.
Yami Bolo’s talent has been long recognized by fellow artists, recent collaborations with Ghetto Youths Damian and Stephen Marley include the No 1 Jamaica-hit single “Still Searchin;” “She Needs My Love;” and “Stand A Chance” for the Motown-released Grammy Award-winning “Halfway Tree” album. Collaborations with Capelton “Put Down the Weapons”; Jack Radics “The Puppet Master”; Josey Wales and Charlie Chaplin “Do Good” exemplify Bolo’s militant commitment to the youths whose “coming of age” under current economic and social conditions require the love of their fellowman and a redefined reverence for the highest moral standards, have lead to popular radio hits in Jamaica. “Freedom” co-written by Yami Bolo and Snow was produced by Dave Kelly for Atlantic Records.
A collaboration with Wyclef Jean and Mad Lion on Yami Bolo’s original “Take It Easy” will soon be released. Yami also produced the Firewalker rhythm track on Kymani Marley’s Grammy-nominated album “Many More Roads.” “Jah Made Them All,” “Jah Jah Give Me True Love” and “Be Still Babylon” are anthems which embody Bolo’s love for the Creator and his devotion to Jah Rastafari. Bolo’s adaptation of Madonna’s “La Isle Bonita” transformed the song to subtly celebrate Jamaica’s own beauty and romantic vision, another favorite of Jamaica’s radio waves. Yami Bolo has written three soundtrack songs for CTW’s Sesame Street and Cartoon Network’s “Big Bag.”
“I know that every person on this earth is here to spread love and happiness across the world“, Bolo says. “I put my trust in the Almighty, and he always inspires me, so I use my talent to praise Jah and the principles of humility and love that are within each and everyone of us.” Yami Bolo continues to garner new friends and fans throughout the world through his heartfelt music.